‘Caps Tightrope to Shutout Victory

West Michigan Whitecaps

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Pitching dominated for the West Michigan Whitecaps as they quelled a late rally by the Cedar Rapids Kernels to earn a 4-0 shutout victory Saturday afternoon at Perfect Game Field.
‘Caps pitching allowed just four hits while collecting 11 strikeouts and holding Cedar Rapids to an

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Pitching dominated for the West Michigan Whitecaps as they quelled a late rally by the Cedar Rapids Kernels to earn a 4-0 shutout victory Saturday afternoon at Perfect Game Field.

‘Caps pitching allowed just four hits while collecting 11 strikeouts and holding Cedar Rapids to an 0-for-6 mark with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Whitecaps closer Blake Holub escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.

The Whitecaps struck first as Carlos Mendoza opened the game with a double before Izaac Pacheco roped an RBI single, scoring Mendoza and delivering West Michigan the 1-0 lead. The Whitecaps added to their total in the second inning as Justice Bigbie scored on a wild pitch, increasing the lead to 2-0. Meanwhile, ‘Caps starter Wilkel Hernandez silenced the Kernels offense, striking out six batters through four scoreless frames to maintain the 2-0 advantage. West Michigan tallied two more insurance runs late as Roberto Campos added an RBI in the seventh before Chris Meyers blasted a solo home run in the ninth, extending the advantage to 4-0. In the bottom of the ninth, Cedar Rapids loaded the bases with no outs before Holub retired the final three batters he faced, walking the tightrope and earning the hard-fought 4-0 shutout.

The Whitecaps improve to 11-9 on the season as the Kernels fall to 9-10. Whitecaps reliever Cristhian Tortosa (1-1) picks up his first win of the season, going two innings of scoreless baseball with three punchouts as Holub earns his second save. Cedar Rapids starter Pierson Ohl (1-1) suffers his first loss, allowing two runs through four innings. The Whitecaps and Kernels finished their nine-inning game just shy of three hours (2:51), making it the longest road game of the 2023 season.

UP NEXT

The Whitecaps conclude this six-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels Sunday at 2:05 pm. Lefty Carlos Pena, currently holding the lowest ERA in the Midwest League (0.59), gets the start for West Michigan against Cedar Rapids lefty Jaylen Nowlin. Broadcast coverage with Nate Wangler begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 1:50 pm. Get your tickets for all 2023 home games now at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

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